Macroeconomist speaks on solving global problems

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Macroeconomist Dambisa Moyo speaks to students about solving global problems with education in the Feb. 23 BYU forum. She discussed sobering economic, political and social trends for the world and how the new generation can make a change. (Alyssa Dahneke/BYU Photo)

Global affairs and macroeconomics expert Dambisa Moyo spoke to BYU students in a Feb. 23 forum on solving the world’s economic problems through education.

“My hope this morning is to present you with a whole host of global trends; economic, geopolitical and social trends that I believe will really dominate and define the global future,” Moyo said.

She outlined six key trends that could potentially worsen the global economy: technology and the risk of a jobless underclass, demographic shifts, inequality, natural resource scarcity and climate change, global debt and productivity. For each issue she shared her global perspective from her childhood in Zambia and travels to over 70 countries.

The economy was already in a precarious place before the pandemic hit, Moyo said. Statistics show economic growth rates are slowing around the world. Voter participation continues to decrease while the number of refugees increases.

“As an economist and as somebody who’s very interested in business but also very interested in where public policy goes, we are in a very deep, challenging place,” she said.

Although Moyo focused on the problems economists face, she said this is not reason to despair. She hoped students would feel educated about the world’s challenges and prepared to resolve them. “Hopefully forewarned is forearmed,” she said.

Education will help people to think broadly and innovatively to solve each of these problems, she said. “The world is heavily depending on the United States to get it right, so we’ve got to actually make sure we invest in education.”

Dambisa Moyo explains six economic issues the world faces and encourages open-mindedness in solving them. (Alyssa Dahneke/BYU Photo)

Moyo ended with constructive advice for students to move forward and stay positive. She encouraged students to become the second “greatest generation” by being open-minded and promoting an efficient government.

“We have to do something together in order to make sure that human progress can continue in a way that is constructive and brings everyone together,” she said.

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